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'Antony and Cleopatra share a rich and distinctive vocabulary'. Referring to at least 2 passages, examine some of the poetic and dramatic qualities of the language they use.

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Introduction

'Antony and Cleopatra share a rich and distinctive vocabulary' Referring to at least 2 passages, examine some of the poetic and dramatic qualities of the language they use In act 1 scene 1, Philo begins by complaining to Demetrius that Cleopatra has transformed Antony from a great general to a whore's fool. The scene is based on the true love affair and the romance between the two characters. However there is an ambiguous nature to the passage, as we are not given a clear indication of Cleopatra's feelings, whether she is angry or whether it is all light hearted. The scene begins with Antony and Cleopatra entering, with great drama as Cleopatra has Eunuchs fanning her and attending her every need. Cleopatra is pushing Antony to describe how much he loves her and this shows her power and demand for the declaration of Antony's love. 'If it be love indeed, tell me how much.' Antony however is calmer and softer in his language. He uses natural imagery by comparing his love for her to the 'new heaven, new earth.' This shows that Cleopatra is more dramatic and that Anthony is more poetic in his choice of language. A messenger then comes from Octavius, but Antony, clearly annoyed, commands the messenger to be brief. ...read more.

Middle

She is worried that Antony does not love her in the same way that he does not love Fulvia, even though he has married her. Although her language is very dramatic it can be seen that she is insecure and that she is a very indefinite character. Her playful and light-hearted language is often used against Antony and in this way Cleopatra is given the control of the situation, as she is able to manipulate Antony through expressing her emotions. Cleopatra is represented in many different ways through her speech, for example she is seen as mocking and taunting, fond and affectionate, as well as hostile and angry. Through Antony's dialect it can be seen that Egypt is influencing him in many ways. His language is changing and his responsibilities have all altered. The use of the verb 'wrangling' by Antony shows his exasperation towards his lover, however he is soon to revert back to his romantic language by saying 'to chide, to laugh, to weep'. Again we see his lighthearted manner and his love towards Cleopatra, despite her attempts to anger him. He praises her qualities with tentative nouns. 'Come, my queen,' Depicting his true love and admiration for her again using the possessive pronoun 'my', as well as referring to her as the 'queen'. ...read more.

Conclusion

It can be seen throughout the play that this is a common theme. Mystical imagery is used throughout to describe Cleopatra and also Egypt. She is also compared to light, when Antony says, 'O thou day' suggesting that Antony sees her as his only hope and his light through the war. This is similar to the nature of the language used by Cleopatra. 'Lord of Lords' 'O infinite virtue' This shows connotations of religion and godlike imagery. They also show her timeless love and admiration for him, as shown in Act 1 Scene 1 by Antony. He is showing that his love for her is eternal and that it will last forever. 'There's not a minute of our lives should stretch Without some pleasure now' The bird like imagery used by Antony to describe Cleopatra is very powerful and depicts her beauty and elegance as he describes her as a 'my nightingale'. Antony also makes many connections between life and on earth and life in heaven. He suggests that Cleopatra is beyond the gods and praises her to the fullest with descriptive and grand language and choice of vocabulary. In conclusion it can be seen that both characters have dramatised language, which is imaginative and striking. The vocabulary of Cleopatra is passionate, comprising of the Egyptian culture. Antony's language is poetic and romantic, showing his true love for Cleopatra. ...read more.

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